The episode unfolds in the chilly embrace of winter. Saku, feeling the cold, inquires about the kotatsu, a traditional Japanese heating table. Yukichi, through expressive body language, reveals that he discarded it after an incident where Saku, while sleeping under it, spilled a drink causing a short circuit.
Saku’s plea to purchase a new kotatsu is met with skepticism from Yukichi, who doubts her promise of not sleeping under it again. Her covert plan to buy one secretly is foiled when Yukichi angrily threatens to drop her phone into boiling water.
A twist of fate presents itself when Yukichi spots a lottery at the grocery store, where the grand prize is a coveted kotatsu. Despite his initial reluctance, he tries his luck but ends up with the least desirable prize – pocket tissues. His disappointment is compounded when he returns home to find Saku missing. His imagination runs wild, conjuring up distressing scenarios about Saku’s well-being.
However, his fears are allayed when Saku returns, not only safe but with a brand-new kotatsu she won herself. Yukichi is both happy at her safely returning, but also embarrassed that she won the grand prize and he won the least valuable one.
The episode further delves into Saku’s relationship with her family, particularly her mother. A package from home brings free cat food and reveals that Saku rarely communicates with her mother. Given Saku’s perceived ineptitude in daily life, her mother is understandably concerned about Yukichi, unaware of his human-like attributes. A comedic sequence ensues as Saku and Yukichi brainstorm ways to make Yukichi appear smaller in a photo for Saku’s mother. Eventually they succeed by making Yukichi step very far back into the frame.
The narrative takes a lighter turn with the introduction of a sharpening stone, a gift from Saku’s mother. Yukichi’s childlike excitement is palpable as he zealously sharpens every knife in their home.
Opinions / Analysis
This episode felt very detached from the rest, almost as if it could’ve been Episode 1 or 2 just fine. The placement of it feels as if it was just filler, which is really strange because the series itself has little to no plot.
I mean, how can you have filler in a 12-Episode series? And yet, it feels just like filler.
I wish we got more hints up until now at Saku’s relationship with her parents. We had never even heard them mentioned up until now. Hell, we didn’t even know if she had parents.
For all the exposition thus far, it was never mentioned.
Also — is it just me, or did this episode feel waaaaaaaay slower than normal? It’s normally a pretty slow-paced show, but it almost felt like the episode was ready to be over at the 10 or 12 minute mark. I was surprised to see there was more — and honestly, it wasn’t all that interesting, either.
I really hate the formula of 2 different, completely unrelated events in an episode. There was the “Kotatsu” bit, and then the “Parents” bit. They are completely unrelated and don’t affect each other at all; they could’ve even happened in different seasons of weather entirely, like the “Kotatsu” takes place during the Winter but during the “parents” bit the cold weather is never even mentioned.
It’s a trope that I really despise that’s used in low-effort slice of life anime.